I just got back from spending thirteen days in China on a Sacred Sites Tour with Madi Nolan and fifty-two others. It was quite an adventure. We were there during the historic 50th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China.
We toured Shanghai, Xi’an, cruised up the Yangtze River (some of which will be dammed up soon and 2 million people relocated), and Beijing. The government tightened security for the Beijing celebration (it was actually entertainment and fireworks, with a huge parade of floats showing off their new weaponry). I heard a lot of people were deported out of Beijing at that time and put in camps. We were very blessed. Madi had not led groups into China before, and discovered that she has a two star ambassador rating (she’s an honorary lama and has traveled to China a lot), which apparently helped get us in. We were asked to stay in our hotel that evening and watch the event on TV; we could see the fireworks from our windows since it was going on in different spots around the city. On TV, we could watch a version of the Newlywed Game in French, Italian soccer, and British broadcasting. Later, I found out the hotels have special privileges, and regular citizens only get Chinese broadcasting.
The next morning we were scheduled to tour parts of Beijing including Tienamman Square. I got a strong sense to plant lots of Light columns. I invited the people on my bus (there were two buses) to plant Light columns. After I made the announcement, some people came up to thank me. I really felt the Traveler’s energy with me as I planted columns. The Square was beyond belief in its size; we were told it held a million people. The number of people there was so enormous we held hands and walked single file, so as not to get lost. Madi showed us a hand mudra to part the way in crowds, which helped a lot. Everywhere we went, we saw Asian tourists and few other nationalities.
The longer we stayed in China, the more I got a sense of how the people function at one level and the government at another. One of the parade floats had some words on it about development being the most important thing. To understand the country better, I bought a copy of the Red Book. The first page I opened to dismissed metaphysics and encouraged people not to get involved in it. Another page talked about the importance of learning to play the piano well. Another talked about the value of generating strong quantitative skills. At the same time I was reading Mao’s stand on metaphysics, I was visiting places that showed such connection with nature and balance. Shanghai has unbelievable architecture. Each building (and I’m talking office buildings here) is a work of feng shui art.
The government restricts families to having just one child, and one of our guides talked about how families sometimes dispose of their girl babies. For people who want a dog or cat, it costs about $7,000 per year, which restricts having a pet to the wealthy. We saw two dogs our whole time there. People have birds, and they take their birds in their cages into the park and strut their birds. Buildings were in construction everywhere; forget about hard hats or safety standards, or emission controls. Luckily, the government had ordered factories closed for a week prior to the celebration, so the air was a lot better than we’d expected.
Boy, do I now appreciate Western toilets, sinks in washrooms, and the freedom we have here.
Love and Light,